HONORED: Judy Basham has held a variety of jobs at the Pathways Youth Shelter. She and her husband were recently honored for their service to the shelter. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
HONORED: Judy Basham has held a variety of jobs at the Pathways Youth Shelter. She and her husband were recently honored for their service to the shelter. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Having worked for Pathways Youth Shelter & Family Services since 2001, Judy Basham has seen her fair share of changes.

She's worked for six executive directors, handled a multitude of responsibilities and gone through several office moves.

These days, as Pathways' business manager - a position she has held for more than five years - Basham's desk is just five feet from where it was when she started about 13 years ago as the organization's secretary.

But her journey over the years and her passion cannot be measured in mere feet and inches.

"I've done whatever needed to be done; I've worn many hats," she said.

Basham and her husband, John, were honored during Pathways' annual dinner last week for their service to the shelter and involvement in youth programs.

The Pathways shelter is a 24-hour facility for children who have been removed from a neglectful or abusive situation. The facility has 10 beds and serves children 10-18 years old. In addition to the shelter, Pathways offers the Youth As Resources, Keep A Clean Mind and Safe Place programs.

The Basham family is known for rolling up their sleeves and pitching in when the shelter is in need. Before the shelter was reopened this year, Basham, her husband, their children and their grandchildren teamed together to renovate the Pathways playground.

For insurance reasons, the playground's wood mulch had to be replaced with rubber mulch. The family dug right into the project and removed the old mulch, pulled out weeds and installed the new material.

"We all got down on our hands and knees and pulled weeds out because we didn't want to spray it with chemicals," she said.

Basham started with Pathways after working at home for most of her life. She's done a variety of jobs, including once trekking through the snow during a storm to work a shift at the shelter.

She said she sometimes runs into former shelter residents who now are thriving in the community.

"That's what really makes it worthwhile," she said.

Her office is located at the Pathways Youth Shelter, which is also a national Safe Place. The shelter reopened its doors as a temporary housing facility earlier this year, and Basham said she was happy to see Pathways again offer the service.

"Everything we're doing now is a piece of the shelter and it all pertains to the kids," she said.